Greetings from Angela "Behind the Scenes" Justice


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Greetings from Angela "Behind the Scenes" Justice

Postby Angela Justice » Jan 5th, '08, 16:40

Greetings all TeaChat members,

After posting a few items on TeaChat, Chip and Fukamushi Dynasty have encouraged me to introduce myself so that Chip won't invent a bio for me.

I have been working with Adagio Teas on the West Coast in California for a year and a half selling our delicious directly-imported and custom-blended teas, as well as unique teaware to tearooms, retailers, restaurants and hotels. I am also the TeaMap Coordinator for the Western States.

I have worked with tea importers directly sourcing Chinese and Taiwanese green, white, oolong, black and puerh teas for nearly ten years. I am truly fanatical about oolongs and other aged puerh teas, but have appreciation for all well crafted, hand picked, artisan teas. As a hobby, I also like to blend traditional western herbs at home. I grow many in my organic garden at home.

Look forward to spending more time on TeaChat and hearing about your experiences with tea across the country.
Last edited by Angela Justice on Jan 5th, '08, 17:01, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby tseirPsaduJ » Jan 5th, '08, 16:56

All the way around, Groovy!! Especially the bit about traditional western herbs and the organic garden. I'm just learning to do that myself. :D But as I said all the way around very cool. I am nowhere near expert or even "well informed", but I DO love my Oolong, I know that. If I want to know anything more about tea, I might ask you (if you don't mind anyway). :D
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Postby joelbct » Jan 5th, '08, 18:46

Hey, welcome! I was born in Berkeley, CA.
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Postby Chip » Jan 5th, '08, 18:56

LOL, well, thanx for introducing yourself Angela! I would have enjoyed writing your bio. :lol:

Good to have you on the forum and I hope you contribute extensively to our tea chats.
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Postby CynTEAa » Jan 5th, '08, 20:54

Yay, Angela! :)
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Postby hop_goblin » Jan 5th, '08, 23:53

Hola!
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Postby Angela Justice » Jan 6th, '08, 14:21

Thanks for the warm welcome. I would be happy to answer any questions about tea and offer recommendations.
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Postby TheSteamyPot » Jan 6th, '08, 14:58

YAY! I got questions :)

Ok...so is it better to brew Oolong tea in a Gaiwan or a Yixing pot? Right now I am using a Gaiwan and I am about to start using a Kysu (which will be used just for Oolongs).
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Postby xine » Jan 7th, '08, 09:50

HIIIIII Angela! (waving from the east coast). :) Glad you're here!
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Postby Wesli » Jan 7th, '08, 13:18

Hey Angela, looking great with that yixing! I'll take two! :wink:
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Gaiwan vs. Yixing

Postby Angela Justice » Jan 8th, '08, 10:38

TheSteamyPot has asked a question which reflects an age old debate.

Gaiwan or yixing for oolong is a complex question. This is a question for which I can not give you a precise answer because both are commonly used in oolong producing regions of China and Taiwan.

Think of the gaiwan not only as a cup with a lid, but also a porcelain or glass non-reactive device in which to prepare the tea. Similar, but not identical results to this method could be produced by a glass or porcelain teapot or infuser mug.
People in China and Taiwan also drink directly from gaiwans throughout the day by adding tea leaves of their choice in the morning and adding hot water to the leaves throughout the day producing many infusions without having clear 1st vs 2nd infusions to create a more continuous tea experience. This is good if you like tasting the tea as it changes and develops while not having precise control over temperature and timing. The lid is also a tool that can be used to help the leaves infuse fully and adjust temperature. Because gaiwans are made from a non-reactive porcelain or glass, they can be used for any tea. Porcelain and glass teaware of any type can be used for all teas to get good results.

Gaiwans are also used traditionally for the controlled tastings as the crops come in. Some farmers now use the more Western tasting sets. Tea is prepared in the gaiwan, decanted into a serving pitcher, and served in tiny tasting cups the size of golf balls.

Yixing pots are made with the rare purple sand clay. They absorb the flavor of the tea that they make because they are unglazed. The porous nature of the clay absorbs the flavors of the tea into the walls of the the pot. Originally developed with oolong teas in mind, but also used widely for puerh teas. After you make the same tea in the pot a thousand times or so, you should be able to pour water into your pot and make the same delicious tea. I have a small collection of Yixing with each pot devoted to a separate tea: one for green tikuanyins, dark roasted tikuanyin, baochong (aka pouchong), dark roasted high altitude Tung Ting teas, aged puerhs, and the list goes on. When properly prepared in a simple tea ceremony, the tea always seems to taste fuller, more complex, and puts me in the best mind frame to fully appreciate the tea. In some rural areas, men will drink directly from the spout of the teapot rather than use a gaiwan. I have not seem a woman drink in this manner.

Yixing teapots are very rarely used to prepare white, green or black teas while all teas can be prepared in a gaiwan or other glass or porcelain teaware.

While I love yixing for special occasions, I drink mainly from gaiwans and cups with infusers especially while working and reading in solitude.
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